City Councillor Steve Talley Endows Special Indianapolis Library Fund for Children's Programming

February 21, 2012

With the goal of fostering learning and opportunity for children throughout Indianapolis, District 11 City-County Councillor Steve Talley has announced a major share of his current and future council salary will be devoted to a new endowment for additional children's programming through The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

The Donna D. Talley Story Theatre Fund will honor Talley's late wife who believed in reading as the key to unlocking a child's potential. The fund, established by the Library Foundation and managed by Central Indiana Community Foundation, began with a founding gift of $25,000 from Tim and Tanya Harris. That gift will be supplemented with contributions by Talley from his council salary over the next four years totaling approximately $52,000, along with a 100% contribution from his future City-County Council retirement plan.

"It is a tremendous comfort to know that Donna's legacy will always live, benefitting future generations of leaders," Talley stated at a special announcement ceremony on February 21 at Turning Point Schools, 4501 N. Post Road. "I believe public libraries will always play an important role in the future of young people, and that is why it is so important to support the Library through gifts to the Library Foundation."

Following her passing in 2006, Donna D. Talley's legacy began with a $12,000 privately-funded memorial campaign spearheaded by her family to create a unique story theater at her neighborhood library, the East Thirty-Eighth Street Branch, where children can read, learn and play. It was also where Donna volunteered by sharing stories with young people.

The new fund will enable The Indianapolis Public Library to build on its early childhood literacy activities, including its multi-year Ready to Read initiative that helps prepare children up to five years old for kindergarten by fostering early literacy and technology skills. The initiative features sign language story programs, monthly programming at faith-based and licensed home day cares, and technology-enhanced "Digital Littles" story times at various Library locations.

In addition to comments by Councillor Talley, Turning Point Schools founders Tim and Tanya Harris, Indianapolis Public Library CEO Jackie Nytes, City-County Council President Maggie Lewis, City of Lawrence Mayor Dean Jessup, and Indianapolis Public Library Foundation President Danny Dean, the announcement ceremony featured a special proclamation presented by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard praising Donna D. Talley for her passion for children's learning and proclaiming February 21, 2012 as Donna D. Talley Story Theatre Fund Day in Indianapolis.

According to Mayor Ballard, "This endowment is a great way to honor the memory of Donna Talley and support the Library Foundation. The Theatre Fund will sustain a variety of programs designed to help children of all ages grow to love reading, technology and learning - paving the way for success in school and beyond,"

Photos from the announcement can be found on the Library's Facebook page.

A video of the Donna D. Talley Story Theatre Fund Announcement is available online.

To support the Donna D. Talley Story Theatre Fund, contact The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation at 275-4700 or visit